---- — OTTUMWA — A record crowd of 550 people enjoyed the third annual 25 Men Who Can Cook extravaganza at Bridge View Center on Saturday.
The event, sponsored by the Ottumwa Symphony Orchestra, brings together 25 Ottumwa area men who prepare their favorite dishes to share. A sensory delight, the afternoon featured a wonderful variety of foods and creative presentations, all wrapped in a festive atmosphere for the grateful patrons.
This year's winners, selected by a team of professional chefs, included Kevin Hatfield (best entrée), Dar Fish (best dessert) and a tie between Jeremy Weller and Dr. Kent Walker (best pre-dining dish). The People's Choice Award, chosen by a vote of the attendees, was won by Fletcher Person.
"Each year, we are so appreciative of all of our competing chefs who give of their time and talent, as well as covering all their own food costs to benefit the local symphony," said Maggie Morrissey, president of the Symphony Board.
All profits from this event assist the Ottumwa Symphony Orchestra with expenses in performing their five Ottumwa concerts each year.